Saturday, February 28, 2009

Administrivia and meanderings

Things have been pretty quiet around here lately. The pasta machine hasn't been used since I returned from Horizons. I've had to deal with a lot of the administrivia which is very necessary for running a craft-based business: editing photos to send to online marketplaces, printing out inventory lists for shipments to shops and galleries, tagging and boxing said items for shipping.

After all the papers, tape and sheets of bubble wrap were stowed away (yes, the studio is still fairly tidy) I decided to set up a one stop blog to promote my workshops.
Next on the To Do List was to go through a few requests for art donations. I wish people were as enthusiastic about buying work as they are about asking for donations of expensive pieces. That may sound jaded but I have a hunch I'm not the only one who feels the same sense of frustration. I recall once being tuned down for a juried show- not a problem, it happens to everyone, but I was steamed when the show that had rejected me had the nerve to ask for a donation with a minimum value of $200 for the Silent Auction at the same event! I have decided to send a piece in to one very worthy charity- more on that in a later post.

So it's Saturday and I plan to bundle up a final outgoing order of tile assemblages, moxies and a few other items so I can have a lovely Sunday drive up to Chemainus tomorrow and combine a delivery of work with a fun day off!
The tiles in the pictures are on their way to Chemainus!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Polymer Clay Buttons

I made a batch of polymer clay buttons for Horizons using my "Posie" motif. By pure coincidence I was invited to send some buttons to Diana Sanderson's beautiful Silk Weaving Studio on Granville Island in Vancouver, so I did a bit of consumer testing. I sewed one on a piece of scrap fabric and put it in a heavy duty wash and dry laundry session with some jeans- polymer clay is so durable- the button came through beautifully!
These buttons are big and chunky with large holes for yarn. I think they'll look great on thick snuggly sweaters or hats. Sort of makes me want to take up knitting.....

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

horizons Polymer Clay Retreat- Leggy Bowl Workshop

My friend Wanda Shum and I collaborated to connect our Horizons workshops. She kicked off Saturday with an innovative and entertaining caning workshop.

When the class had their canes ready we transitioned into the Leggy Bowl Workshop. I hope the class had as much fun as I did! The class ended at the phase that I call " fork in the road"- it's the "embellishment point" where people recognise ways to make the concept "their own" and detour down their own path. I was seeing 3D experiments , alternative leg lengths and different approaches to trims... I'm looking forward to seeing pictures of everyone's innovations!
Here's Barb Alexander's Leggy Bowl
I'm teaching the Polymer Clay Leggy Bowl Workshop here in Victoria on March 28th-
Compose little leggy bowls with a gleaming interior accented with a funky array of beads, findings, fibers, found objects and textures.
Take the concept home to a full sized oven and go wild!
In Victoria, BC
5.5 hours $85 /participant
All materials included
Saturday March 28- 10:00 am -3:30 pm

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Horizons Polymer Clay Retreat- Gallery

There was a gallery of artists' work at Horizons and I also discovered that many (shy) people had containers and packages at their work areas with stunning little treasures too! Here is a selection of some of the creations that inspired much of the creative energy in the room. The quality of these photos does not do justice to the workmanship.

Jem Redlich's distinctive balance bending vases.

Cheryl McCreight's gorgeous charm bracelet

Nancy Quinn- mosaic

Deb Groom's darkly funky
but completely endearing characters.

Joan Tayler's stunning vessel is accented
with intricate carving and the clever use of an egg!

Cheryl Trottier's elegant fairies and tiny newborns are awe inspiring.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Horizons- Polymer Clay Retreat in Vancouver

I've been attending Horizons- the Vancouver Polymer Clay Guild's Retreat in Vancouver this weekend. The wonderful is in a central area that's full of fantastic restaurants and within walking distance to fabulous Granville Island which is a delectable location for shopping, gallery hopping and purchasing locally grown produce! I began my day with this wonderful view of the sunrise reflecting on this beautiful city

In spite of the lure of the attractions of the city, people are hard at claying here! Here's the work area with happy people up to their elbows in polymer clay!

Barb Alexander
Shelly Poole, Tina Holden (centre) and Cheryl Trottier (Cherylamie)
Rachel Gourley
Stay tuned- the next blog entry will showcase some of the fantastic creations showcased in the Horizon's Gallery!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Polymer Clay Tile Assemblage- with a little Moxie

I completedthis tile assemblage today. There's something about having a Moxie in the composition that makes it feel happy.

A Joyful Day 2009
7x10 SOLD

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Polymer Clay Vases

Here are two of the glass-lined polymer clay vases photographed in the recent IAA photoshoot.
Flora Series Vase 2008 approx. 8x 6.5" $160

Pears Series SOLD 6x7"

Monday, February 16, 2009

Leggy Bowl

This Leggy Bowl has had a variety of different rim finishes- wild fibres and beads- beads alone and finally- less is more- a simple trim made with strands of waxed cord. The wax makes the cord wonderfully malleable and I could sort of mold wobbles and twists into place.
The visits I took to so many collage and mixed media artists' blogs during the OWOH Event really has got me thinking of experimenting with polymer clay & ephemera using Leggy Bowls as a platform. Luckily my ephemera collection is intact in spite of the studio cleanout!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

aMused Polymer Clay Workshops 2009

Here's my workshop Schedule for 2009!

aMused Workshops for 2009
If you are interested in any of these upcoming workshops, or would like to arrange a group event in your community please email me at and I will contact you when dates are available. Clay Workshops are a fun way to celebrate a special occasion- ask about catered party packages!

Leggy Bowls-
Compose little leggy bowls with a gleaming interior accented with a funky
array of beads, findings, fibers, found objects and textures.
Take the concept home to a full sized oven and go wild!
In Victoria
5.5 hours $85 /participant
All materials included
Saturday May 23- 10:00 am -3:30 pm

Polymer Clay Basics & Giftmaking
In this lively and inspiring workshop Gera will provide an introduction to the basics in polymer clay while showing you how to make beautiful one of a kind gifts for the special people in your life. The class is specifically designed for people who are new to polymer clay. The 5 hour class is project-driven and each participant will learn to use colour blending, backfilling, inclusions and basic millifiori techniques to create one piece of wearable art and two functional items that are be perfect for gift-giving. Take your new skills and inspiration home with and continue creating special items for all the people on your gifting list. Gera will also provide tips on packaging and presenting your creations.
6 hours $75 includes clay and materials.
Saturday October 24 -10:00-4:00
Saturday November 21 - 10:00-4:00

Secretive Women-
Discover your inner Muse as you make a Wild Woman who can keep
a secret. Bring your own found objects,beads, ephemera& special
tokens to embellish your creation.

6 hours $75/ participant
Materials list supplied after registration.
Saturday April 25 -10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Spend a fun day exploring ways to transform clay into
amazingly realistic BeachStones. Each Participant
will make a piece of jewelery that reflects the west coast.

4 hours $75 /participant
All materials included.
Saturday Sept. 19- 10:00 am- 2:00 pm

Polymer Purses
Learn a basic vessel building technique to create unique
polymer clay purses that glow with a stunning surface technique inspired by Gustav Klimt.

6 hours $75/ participant.
Materials list supplied after registration
Saturday June 20 10:00 am- 4:00 pm

What my students say-

I have just spent a most amazing day taking Gera's class. Wow!!! If any of you are new to clay or even if you just need a refresher, I highly recommend this class. The items we produced were wonderful but, the very best part was the techniques that are so transferable. I came away with renewed inspiration and love of the clay. Except for myself, all the other "kids" were brand new to clay. You would never have guessed. Perhaps it was G's teaching or these people grasped the concepts very quickly but, each student designed something that was uniquely them. It was so wonderful to watch the passion grow in each person as a new discovery was revealed. It was magic. Thank you G for the great class and I look forward to your next.

Kristine Ovens

Friday, February 13, 2009


I was so excited when I found out I had won a One World One Heart draw! I'm sure may of your who were exploring the OWOH sites will recognise this beautiful sterling silver charm bracelet by Chery Strait- Objects of My Affection.
Cheryl's blog is a great place to visit. She has pics and links to her fantastic UrbanRomantic etsy shop.

Thanks Cheryl!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

One World One Heart Winners!

It's a fun day today for everyone involved in the One World One Heart Event- it's the day the winners are announced! After random draws I have two winners!
The winner of my notecard set is
The winner of the Pear Tile is

Both winners have been notified by email.
When I have their mailing addresses their packages will be in the mail.

Congratulations to both of you!

Thanks and kudos to EVERYONE who participated-

especially the founder of the event-

It was a lovely experience & it certainly succeeded in
drawing creative people together in an extraordinary way.

We all have a year to consider what to offer next year!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Polymer Clay in One World One Heart

The One World One Heart Event is coming into its final hours. In total there were over 900 participants! Visiting all the blogs and being able to thoroughly explore everyone's work is simply impossible. "Meeting" so many talented people who employ so many different materials and approaches is an incredible opportunity. The chance to win a fabulous selection of supplies or a stunning handcrafted item is an exciting bonus! I was particularily captivated by the possibilities I see with felting and so many of the artists from the altered zone had my head spinning in a good way!

Of course I had a special interest in finding polymer clay artists. We're a little under-represented and hopefully with some advance promo in our respective clay communities, polymer clay artists can blow the doors off the event next year! I do think the clayers participating have been wonderful ambassadors for polymer clay!

Next year I will be a lot more efficient in my explorations and keep better track of the sites I visited. Who knew it would go over 900? Here are a few of the polymer clay artists offering giveaways. I apologise to the many that I've missed I will add more as I relocate them OR email me and I'll add you. Take a peek and enter the draws while there's still time! The images shown here are the poly-prizes YOU could win - all you have to do is visit the clayer's blog and make a comment!


Sprite Bites

Sandy- Simple Inspirations

The Studio at Crow Haven Farm

Spirit Mama

Lady Artisan

Christine Alvarado

Vanessa Betcher

Tina Holden

Wanda Shum

and me!

Please email me so I can add to this list- also attach a jpg of your draw item.

Changing Pace

So here I am in an orderly space and trying very hard to maintain the ambience. Yesterday I caught myself about to toss clippings on the floor for some future sweep-up. I also amazed myself by clipping fibres directly into the trash can instead of onto my tabletop and floor. So far so good!

Now what? I have decided to make this year absolutely based on creating one of a kind items. It's a year of experimentation and new directions. I am currently working on what I hope will be the only production run of the year, it's a collection of buttons for swapping at Horizons.

A decision like this is very challenging. I'll have to practice my skills at saying "no". Someone at the photoshoot was aghast that I wouldn't be making Moxies any more, "Everyone loves them!" For me the thought of not having to do a production run of 45 moxies is blissful. The idea of never making another one again is very sad. Of course I'll make more but each one will be made as a single entity- I'll know that character. The Moxie concept may develop into something new and different. Maybe through that process I'll be able to move forward in my own creative development instead of parking myself on one concept because it sells well. The trick will be maintaining sales with carefully crafted labour-intensive items in a recession.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Two Polymer Clay Muses

These Muses were photographed at the IAA photoshoot.

Vaia is a freestanding Muse made in two parts so she is actually a lidded vessel. She is 23" tall, made of polymer clay and her hair is wound with beads and brass bells.

Laveina is a wall hanging muse made with polymer clay. She is approx. 20" tall. her hair is a mixture of mohair and handspun and hand dyed wool from Pender Island BC.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

200th Blog Post!- A Thank YOU & A Photoshoot

First of all this is this blog's 200th post! A nice milestone with a sparky "new" studio!

I'd like to extend THANKS to everyone who emailed, MSNed or commented in my blog through the process of the studio overhaul! It was really great to have so much encouragement through what was a challenging and pretty grungy process. To those of you who are inspired to do it yourselves- I heartily recommend it! I wish we could all gather here in realtime and I could serve wine and cheese to you all!

Today I attended the Island Artisans Association's annual Photoshoot. It's a wonderful perk for members of the association- for $30 you get a series of professional photos of your work done by Bob Matheson. I have a CD with a selection of great shots of my work. i'm showing two of my tile assemblage pieces I had photographed.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Studio De-Cluttering & ReDesign is Finished! Time for Polymer Clay...or...?

It's all done! There is no "stuff" in here- everything has a purpose and a place. There's no sense of disorder to divert thoughts and ideas. I know where everything is and it doesn't need to be untangled before I use it.

Total materials cost- $42 for floor paint and 1 can of goof-off! Everything else was recycled from the house or hauled out of storage.

Here's my computer table. The printer sits on a higher cabinet and is much easier to use. The computer paper is stored in the cabinet instead of in the lazy susan which now actually has free space for incoming papers etc. I added a bulletin board for displaying some of my favourite ephemera & photos.
The worktable was moved to face the window- it's nice to see the garden outside as I work. Polymer clay and other supplies are in a shelving unit under the table- the wire basket drawer unit is on wheels and pulls out for easy access. Shelving with drop down covers goes along the wall and gives a long countertop. The floor is protected with a heavy duty vinyl office floor pad.
The storage area had the walls and floor painted. I have tools organized on a pegboard. The shelves and grid system display artwork. Art cards and production items are stored in bins on the shelves.

It's been a long week but time very well spent! It was an excellent cure for the mid-winter blues.

I'm ready now to consider what to do next. Between arguing with the definition of "tossable items", goofing-off the floor and searching for Zen in the midst of chaos I didn't have much time with that sketchbook. For the first time in a very long time my studio feels like a place for some creative contemplation.